Q. Is it fine to take beta-blockers daily or should I take only when I get palpitations?

Answered by
Dr. Sagar Ramesh Makode
and medically reviewed by Dr.Nithila A
This is a premium question & answer published on Oct 04, 2019 and last reviewed on: Oct 05, 2019

Hello doctor,

I am a 57-year-old female. Here is my question constant heart palpitations and fluttering, continuous feeling of adrenaline rushing along with palpitations very bad at night but also during the day when sitting in doing nothing palpitations often make you feel nauseous on a 1 to 10 scale they are about an eight. All labs are normal ECG, echo, and Holter monitor are all normal.

Doctor cannot figure it out and prescribed Propranolol 10 mg, told me to try these once a day. Yesterday after doctor visits heart palpitations for four hours got fed up and took one tablet one hour later, all palpitations and adrenaline rush was gone. Slept for the first time without being woke up having to cough to stop the palpitations. Had angio done approximately two years ago due to suspected heart attack or arrhythmia at home with all classic signs crushing chest pain jaw neck left arm down to the floor nauseated?

Even with that lab test came back good the next day. Had carotid artery surgery two years ago to remove a piece of plaque in right carotid artery none found anywhere else no stent needed. Again all labs are good cholesterol not high on statins and warfarin. I must be perplexing to all doctors because they cannot figure it out. Was put on warfarin approximately 15 years ago due to DVTs as a result of a surgery, always therapeutic. So I had a heart attack or arrhythmia a few years back the angio came out the great doctor said everything looked fine now I have these crazy heart palpitations that would not stop. They go away as soon as I take the beta-blocker. I am told that beta-blockers even though anti-arrhythmic can also be pro arithmetic as well should I take this every day or should I only take this when I start to feel palpitations.

Dr. Sagar Ramesh Makode

Cardiology General Medicine Internal Medicine


Welcome to ciliniq.com.

So palpitations may be due to cardiac arrhythmia, anxiety, and psychological problems or due to increased awareness of one's heartbeat. Now, since your holter was normal during your palpitations, it rules out the possibility of cardiac arrhythmia. So, these are likely benign palpitations in you. Propranolol is an anti-anxiety medicine, and it also opposes the Adrenaline rush due to psychological causes.

It is not an antiarrhythmic drug per, and it is not arrhythmogenic like other antiarrhythmics. So, there is no harm in having it regularly. It should be taken regularly for a few weeks and later on tapered as symptoms start reducing. Only things to be monitored are BP and pulse rate, which may be reduced due to propranolol on higher doses. I hope this helps you and get back if you have any doubts.

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